Howard Joffe (pronounced JOFF-ee, rhymes with coffee), one of the brightest young collegiate tennis coaches in the country, is entering his fourth season at the helm of the Aggies after being named the Texas A&M women’s head tennis coach in July 2011.
Upon his hiring, Joffe said, “I intend to work extremely hard with our student-athletes to do the athletics department, Texas A&M University and Aggies everywhere proud,” and that is exactly what he has done and continues to do.
Joffe, 66-17 (.795) in three seasons at A&M and 114-55 (.675) in his seven-year head coaching career, instantly transformed the Aggies from pretender to contender. In his inaugural season at Texas A&M, the Aggies were No. 17 in the final rankings with a 19-6 record after advancing to the second round of the 2012 NCAA Championship. It marked A&M's third highest final ranking in school history and it was the program’s first top-20 final ranking since tying for 16th in 2004.
In only his second season, Joffe’s Aggies shocked the nation by reaching the 2013 NCAA Championship finals for the first time. A&M, whose previous best finish in the NCAAs was a round of 16 appearance in 2004, narrowly fell to 17-time national champion Stanford, 4-3, in the championship match. The Aggies concluded their historic 2013 campaign ranked an all-time high No. 3 in the final team rankings with a 26-4 record, marking the most wins in school history.
Joffe was honored as the Wilson/ITA Texas Region Coach of the Year in 2014 as the Aggies were No. 9 in the final national rankings with a 21-7 record after reaching at least the round of 16 at the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year and for only the third time in school history. The Aggies, who finished fifth in the powerful Southeastern Conference with a 10-3 mark, tallied three top-10 victories, including a stunning 4-3 triumph at No. 3 North Carolina, breaking the year-old record for the highest ranked win in school history.
Joffe’s 2013 team previously held the record for the highest ranked win, knocking off two-time defending national champion and fourth-ranked Florida, 4-3, during A&M’s inaugural season as a member of the SEC. The victory snapped the Gators’ 45-match winning streak against SEC teams in conference regular-season, SEC Tournament and NCAA Championship matches combined. The statement win was part of a 13-match win streak, tying the all-time school record for consecutive victories first accomplished in Joffe’s debut season as the Aggies’ skipper. A&M would go on to win the SEC Western Division title and stake claim to a share of the SEC regular-season crown with the Gators and Georgia.
The Aggies have produced a plethora of team and individual highlights since Joffe’s hiring. Although the team lost, 4-3, to Ole Miss in Joffe’s A&M debut, the Aggies rebounded with a school-record 13 consecutive victories, obliterating the previous record of nine straight wins. The Aggies would later defeat No. 6 Texas (April 17, 2012), which at the time marked A&M’s highest ranked win since defeating No. 5 USC in 2004, when Joffe served as an assistant for the Women of Troy.
The Aggies went on to tie for second in the Big 12 Conference behind the stellar play of Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, who followed Joffe to A&M from Maryland. The junior went 9-0 in conference matches and 24-1 in dual matches all at the No. 1 line and became the first player in Big 12 history to garner both Big 12 Player of the Year and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors in the same season. Sanchez-Quintanar, who first became the highest ranked player in Texas A&M history when she received a No. 4 singles ranking on Feb. 28, 2012, would go on to become the first Joffe-coached player to earn ITA All-America honors after receiving a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship. She would also become only the second player in Texas A&M history to reach the quarterfinals of the prestigious tournament.
In 2013 Sanchez-Quintanar concluded her stellar two-year career as the most decorated player in Aggie women’s tennis history. After being ranked an A&M all-time high No. 3 in the ITA’s preseason singles rankings in January 2013, the Spaniard was No. 5 in the final rankings, the highest final ranking in school history. The Spaniard, who posted the school’s highest ranked singles victory by defeating No. 3 Robin Anderson of UCLA in the NCAA semifinals and received an all-time high No. 4 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship, and became A&M’s first two-time All-American, finished her two-year career with a .844 (81-15) winning percentage in singles, also an A&M record.
In 2014, a Joffe-coached player achieved All-America distinction for the third consecutive year as senior Cristina Stancu was a No. 9-16 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship and was No. 9 in the final ITA singles rankings.
Joffe has had success both as a head coach and as an assistant coach. Prior to coming to Aggieland, he served as the head women’s tennis coach at the University of Maryland for two years. In 2011, he led the Terrapins to the NCAA Championships, marking the Terps’ first appearance in the NCAA Championships since 2006. Joffe’s squad finished 13-10 and was No. 34 in the final ITA rankings.
Joffe went to Maryland from his first head coaching position at Miami University (Ohio), where he took over a program and within two years led the RedHawks to the top of the Mid-American Conference and their first NCAA appearance in program history. Joffe was rewarded by being named the 2009 MAC Coach of the Year. The RedHawks would also become ranked for the first time in the program’s history.
Joffe cut his teeth at the highest level, serving five years as an assistant coach at USC where the Trojans finished among the country’s best teams every season from 2002-07 and Joffe was a two-time recipient (2004 & 2006) of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) West Region Assistant Coach of the Year. In 2006, he was the national runner-up for the ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year. During Joffe’s stint at USC, the Trojans finished among the Top 11 every season and finished as high as No. 3 in the land after the 2006 season.
While at Miami (Ohio), Joffe recruited the 2009 MAC Freshman of the Year and first-team all-league player in Monica Gorny. His sophomore, Anastasia Dracheva, also earned first-team all-league honors. In addition to outstanding play on the RedHawk tennis courts, Joffe’s squad scored a perfect 1000 on his last Academic Progress Rate (APR) report.
At Maryland, Joffe recruited Sanchez-Quintanar who ended the season ranked No. 34 and defeated Texas A&M standout Nazari Urbina in the first round of the NCAA singles championships. Another Joffe recruit, Jordaan Sanford, combined with Sanchez-Quintanar to end the season ranked No. 26 in doubles.
In only three seasons at Texas A&M, Joffe has had a student-athlete earn All-America honors and be ranked in the top 10 in the final singles rankings every year. In addition, his Aggies have garnered six first-team all-conference certificates, raising his head coaching career total to 11 overall. Furthermore, Sanchez-Quintanar and Stancu were named the ITA Region Senior Player of the Year in 2013 and 2014, respectively, while freshman Saska Gavrilovska was awarded ITA Region Rookie Player of the Year accolades in 2014.
Joffe was himself a talented player earning All-America honors at Pepperdine in 1992 and advancing to the semifinals of the NCAA Singles Championship. He earned three letters before playing on the professional circuit for three years. While he served as an assistant coach at USC, Joffe earned his psychology degree at USC in 2006.
A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Joffe spent three years (1999-2002) as a teaching professional and director of tennis at Kettering Tennis Center and Quail Run Racquet Clubs in Dayton, Ohio. Prior to coming back to the United States, Joffe spent four years teaching young tennis players in South Africa. He established the Joffe-Wheeler Tennis Academy in Johannesburg, and he coached and managed the Gauteng Central Junior Tennis Team. He was also appointed the Gauteng Central tennis coach and served as the head coach at Rand Afrikaanse University.THE JOFFE FILE
- Birthdate: Oct. 24, 1971
- Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa
- High School: King David High School--Johannesburg, South Africa (1989)
- College: Pepperdine (1990-92) (Earned bachelor's degree in psychology from Southern California in 2006)
- 2002-07: Assistant Coach, Univ. of Southern California
- 2007-09: Head Coach, University of Miami (Ohio)
- 2009-11: Head Coach, University of Maryland
- 2011-Present: Head Coach, Texas A&M University
- 2004: ITA West Region Assistant Coach of the Year
- 2006: ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year runner-up
- 2006: ITA West Region Assistant Coach of the Year
- 2009: Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year
- 2014: ITA Texas Region Coach of the Year
- 2012: Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar (singles)
- 2013: Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar (singles)
- 2014: Cristina Stancu (singles)
ITA REGION SENIOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
- 2013: Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar (Texas A&M)
- 2014: Cristina Stancu (Texas A&M)
ITA REGION ROOKIE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
- 2014: Saska Gavrilovska (Texas A&M)
ALL-CONFERENCE, FIRST TEAM
- 2008: Anastasia Dracheva, Britney Larson (Miami University)
- 2009: Monica Gorny, Anastasia Dracheva (Miami University)
- 2011: Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar (Maryland)
- 2012: Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, Wen Sun, Nazari Urbina (Texas A&M)
- 2013: Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, Nazari Urbina (Texas A&M)
- 2014: Cristina Stancu (Texas A&M)
ALL-CONFERENCE, SECOND TEAM
- 2014: Saska Gavrilovska (Texas A&M)
- 1990-92: Pepperdine University
- 1992-94: Professional tour, attained an ATP tour ranking (top 450) in both singles and doubles; was the sixth highest rated South African in the ATP in 1992
- 1990-92: Led Pepperdine to three consecutive West Coast Conference titles
- 1992: ITA All-American (Singles)
- 1992: Semifinalist, NCAA Singles Championship
- 1992: West Coast Conference Singles Champion
- 1989: No. 2 ranked junior tennis player in South Africa
- 1989: Won a gold medal in singles and a silver medal in doubles at the 1989 Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv, Israel
- 1995: Earned an ITF Tennis Coaching Diploma
- 1995-98: Established and coached at Joffe-Wheeler Tennis Academy (Johannesburg, South Africa)
- 1997: Named head tennis coach at Rand Afrikaanse University
- 1998: Managed and coached Gauteng Central JuniorTennis Team
- 1999-2001: Teaching Professional, Kettering Tennis Center/Quail Run Racquet Clubs (Dayton, Ohio)
|USC||2002||19||8||.704||Round of 16||#11|
|USC||2004||18||7||.720||Round of 16||#8|
|USC||2007||19||5||.792||Round of 16||#10|
|Miami (Ohio)||2009||16||7||.696||8||0||1.000||1st||First Round||#70|
|Texas A&M||2012||19||6||.760||7||2||.777||T-2nd||Second Round||#17|
|Texas A&M||2014||21||7||.750||10||3||.769||5th||Round of 16||#9|
|Totals (7 years)||114||55||.675||47||26||.644|
|A&M Totals (3 years)||66||17||.795||29||6||.829|